Intensive interaction is an approach to teaching the pre-speech fundamentals of communication to children and adults who have severe learning difficulties and/or autism and who are still at an early stage of communication development.
The approach works by progressively developing enjoyable and relaxed interaction sequences between the interaction partner and the person doing the learning.
These interaction sequences are repeated frequently and gradually grow in duration, complexity and sophistication. As this happens, the fundamentals of communication are gradually rehearsed and learnt in a free-flowing manner.
The style of the teacher person is relaxed, non-directive and responsive. In fact, a central principle is that the teacher person builds the content and the flow of the activity by allowing the learner basically to lead and direct, with the teacher responding to and joining-in with the behaviour of the learner.
This simple principle is the one used by adults in interaction with babies during the first year. The first year is the period of development when a baby carries out intense and very rapid learning of the fundamentals of communication.